It goes without saying that rape is a heinous crime. Many states, including New York, take rape charges very seriously. The state of New York categorizes and prosecutes rape in three degrees depending on the circumstances of the crime. If you are charged with rape in Suffolk County, Nassau County, or in any of the five boroughs, get legal representation immediately and contact an experienced Long Island criminal defense lawyer. In the state of New York:

  • First-degree rape is rape by “forcible compulsion,” the rape of someone who is physically helpless, the rape of someone less than 11 years old, or the violation of someone less than 13 years old by a person age 18 or older. First-degree rape is a class B felony in New York, and if convicted, you could be sent to prison for as much as 25 years and fined up to $5,000.
  • Second-degree rape is the violation of someone less than 15 years old by someone 18 or older, or the rape of someone who is mentally disabled or mentally incapacitated. Second-degree rape is a class D felony in New York, and if convicted, you could end up in prison for up to 7 years and be fined up to $5,000.
  • Third-degree rape is the rape of someone who is incapable of consent for a reason other than being less than 17 years old or the violation of someone less than 17 by someone 21 or older. Rape in the third degree is a class E felony punishable by up to 4 years in a New York state prison and a fine of up to $5,000.

Anyone less than 17 is considered “incapable of consent” under New York law (unless that person is married). While no guarantee can ever be made regarding the outcome of any specific criminal case, your best hope for justice if you’re charged with first, second, or third-degree violation is to contact an experienced Long Island criminal defense lawyer immediately.

Statutory Rape

The news media love these stories. An attractive female teacher is accused of engaging in a sexual relationship with a much-younger male student. The news stories are titillating, and the late-night TV comedians always have a smart-alecky comment. But if you’re a teacher – male or female – or in another professional position where you work with children, and you are accused of a sex crime with a minor, you have a lot to lose, beginning with your freedom. Anyone in the New York City area who is charged with a sex crime involving a minor will need to retain top-notch legal help immediately. Even if you’re only suspected or under investigation for a sex crime, call an experienced Long Island criminal defense attorney at once. Prosecutors are zealous to convict sex crime suspects; you’ll need an equally zealous advocate acting on your behalf. 

In some of these cases, when the cell phone and computer records are scrutinized, the evidence of a crime can be overwhelming. In those cases, a good criminal defense lawyer can usually introduce extenuating circumstances and help clients reach the best possible plea arrangement. But in other cases, teachers and other professionals are falsely accused of sex crimes, and it takes a skilled, aggressive defense advocate to challenge the evidence and discredit the accusation.

You would think the law against statutory rape would be simple and straightforward, but in the state of New York, it isn’t. If you’ve been accused of statutory rape, or even if you’re only suspected of the crime, it’s important to understand the law and to understand your rights.

The law looks simple enough at first. For adults, it’s against the law to have sexual intercourse in New York with a minor under seventeen. Even if the minor “consents,” the law states that those under seventeen cannot actually legally consent, so the crime in such instances is called “statutory” rape. If a person twenty-one or older has intercourse with a minor under seventeen, in New York it’s usually a Class E felony, and the charge is usually statutory violation in the third degree. A conviction can lead to four years in prison and a fine of $5,000.

Beyond this basic standard, the law gets complicated. Anyone eighteen or older who has sexual intercourse with anyone under fifteen can be charged with statutory violation in the second degree, a class D felony that can lead to seven years in prison and a fine of $5,000. And anyone – anyone – having intercourse with a minor under the age of eleven, or anyone eighteen or over having intercourse with a minor under the age of thirteen, may be charged with statutory rape in the first degree, a class B felony. Statutory rape in the first degree can be punished in New York by up to 25 years in prison and a fine of $30,000.

The state of New York takes statutory violation seriously, and leniency is seldom offered to those convicted of the crime. Without regard to the degree, you could be facing mandatory, long-term incarceration if you are convicted of statutory rape in New York. If you are charged or even suspected of this crime, it’s absolutely imperative that you speak at once with an experienced criminal defense attorney. Anyone – anyone – facing this charge simply must have the help of a good criminal defense lawyer. An experienced criminal defense attorney will evaluate your case, give you the legal advice you need, and diligently defend you in court.

Hire A Long Island Sex Crimes Attorney

Sex crimes really are considered heinous and really are prosecuted aggressively in New York. If you are accused of any sex crime in or near New York City, don’t rely on a public defender to handle your case. There is too much at risk to put your future in the hands of someone who does not have experience successfully defending sex crimes defendants. Get the aggressive defense representation you’re going to need and call an experienced Long Island criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. The sooner that you hire a criminal defense attorney, the more favorable the outcome may be for your case.